When was the last time you used your cell phone while driving? We all know it isn't safe, but it's so tempting. We rationalize one text message won't hurt, that we can glance at it and still stay in control of our vehicle. One app aims to make Texas roads safer not by punishing drivers for using cell phones, but by rewarding them for the miles they drive responsibly.

How the Safe 2 Save App Works

Just download the Safe 2 Save app to start earning points for safe driving. Upon download, you'll create an account with basic information like your name and email address. Then it will prompt you to upload a photo of a loved one.

When you drive, earn two points for every minute you drive above 10 miles per hour and don't use your cell phone to send texts or check email. If you try to access one of those features, Smart 2 Save will display your loved one's photo with a reminder it isn't worth it to text and drive.

If you use your phone for maps, music streaming or making and receiving calls using Bluetooth, all that will still work. You'll still continue to accrue points while you do. Drivers are required to open Google Maps or Waze from within the Safe 2 Save app to earn points without receiving notifications of possible unsafe driving. You can also earn free points by sharing the app with friends on Facebook.

Where Can You Use Points?

Once you rack up points, you can use them at local businesses. What businesses have deals depends on where you're driving. For example, 700 points might get you a free McDonald's Big Mac, or you could spend 300 points on a Chick-fil-a sandwich. Right now, La Madeline in Tyler is offering a free cup of soup for 500 points or a free croissant for 300.

Why Safe 2 Save Is Good for Business

Offering deals for points could be an effective way for East Texas businesses to market. Consumers support businesses who participate in cause-based marketing, because it gives them a chance to make a difference. Business owners get to be part of creating a safer community, and consumers notice that commitment.

A Smoothie King owner noticed Safe 2 Save participation was good for sales. He pointed out Safe 2 Save users tended to be families. When Smoothie King offered discounts, drivers redeemed points for dollars off one smoothie, but they also bought four more. The deal appealed to a new demographic for the chain, encouraged safe driving and resulted in improved sales.

Safe 2 Save is a free download for Android and iPhone users. If you've tried it, let us know what you think!